One of my writing retreat friends made personalized signs for our doors. It’s a reminder of who is staying in each room since our doors are typically closed. We can also use the signs at home, although my sign (and the woman who made them) need a slight adjustment at the retreat.
We share a name, so our last name’s initial is tacked onto the sign while at the retreat. It would be silly to include the last initial on the signs once we are home, because it’s not necessary to differentiate ourselves from any other Susan. At this year’s retreat, we Susans stayed in side-by-side rooms. The two doors looked identical except for the tacked on last name initials.
As I walked up to the doors one day, I paused to consider the similarities. I wouldn’t mistake one door for the other, because I confidently knew which was mine. Susan S. wouldn’t have difficulty choosing her door either. But others who weren’t usually on our end of the house might easily be confused.
Each of us is different, and neither of us gets confused by who we are, but others need hints.
Even when our identities are firm, we need to give others clues into our lives. We need to never assume people know some important – and even less important – things about us. In order to let people into our lives, we need to share something that invites them through the door.
It amazes me how, no matter how long we know someone, we can always learn more. We grow and change (or regress and change).
Continually get to know others and help them get to know you.